Until the early years of the 21st century, a massive whaleback mound at the south-eastern tip of the Ness of Brodgar was believed to be a natural feature.
Aside from the two standing stones in the garden of Lochview there was little to see.
Shorlty afterwards it reached the southern tip of the Ness, where the results revealed a dense cluster of sub-soil anomalies.
“Indicative of settlement”, these covered an area of 2.5 hectares and the sheer concentration, and variation, of anomalies astonished archaeologists.
A few months later, in March 2003, a large, notched stone was ploughed up in the area.
Initially, it was believed the stone was part of a Bronze Age burial cist. Because that meant human remains may have been disturbed a rescue excavation was launched, with Beverley Ballin Smith and Gert Petersen, from the Glasgow University Research Division, carrying out the work.
That building was what we now refer to as Structure One.
Following its discovery a resistivity survey was carried out to define the extent of the built archaeology and to complement the previous gradiometer scans.
The results confirmed that something large, and very complex, lay under the soil.
So further investigations began.
To examine the nature, depth and extent of the suspected archaeological deposits, eight test-trenches were placed across the site in 2004.
Excavation began. And the rest is history.